NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The cost of a can of beer or soda could soon be on the rise. Manufacturers are warning a new 10-percent tariff on aluminum, set to take effect Friday, will negatively impact business.
At the Oak Highlands Brewery in Lake Highlands, co-owner Brad Mall says half his outside sales come from canned beer. “If the can prices increase, it’s hard for us to pass that on to the consumer because the competition for craft beer has grown so much in the past three years,” said Mall.
Local breweries like his may try to absorb any increase, which could in turn stifle growth. “Whether we can hire an another employee or buy that extra fomenter or buy that extra tank,” he said. “We can’t expand as fast as we’d like to.”
Philip Luck, an economist at the University of Colorado – Denver, believes, when it comes to beer, a tariff on aluminum could hurt working class Americans. “You could definitely make the argument that imposing these types of tariff is going to hurt exactly the types of people you claim you want to be helping,” he said.
One of America’s biggest beer makers, the Miller Coors Corporation warned the tariff may increase their prices.
“I love what the President’s done in most cases, but the tariff is basically a tax on people who use aluminum,” said Pete Coors, chairman of the Molson Coors Brewing Company.
Eventually, Mall says local breweries will follow. “It’s gonna end up everyone across the board’s prices are going to go up.” The price of a six-pack of beer, he said, could rise by $1 or more.
“If we add .10 to .20 to our price, the retailers are going add .20 to .30 to their price, and it’s definitely something the consumer’s going to notice.”